Saturday, April 4, 2009

Life, Upside-Down

Holy Macaroni, I knew I hadn't blogged in a while, but nearly 3 weeks? Just seems wrong. Like someone else has been asleep at the wheel, not me, no sir. I haven't picked up the camera much recently, either, which is probably part of the problem. However, the fact that there has been a distinct lack of yarn, fiber, or knitting photos taken since my stitches post really just points to the same conclusion as my lack of blog posts: I have been neglectful.

Okay, enough wallowing in self-pity. Time for the update! I have been dealing with hectic life changes and those blasted gloves by starting a few easy projects. In the picture we have another mitered square, a cowl, and a scarf.

February-March Knitting

Don't let the mitered square fool you, I probably finished it in early February and just kept forgetting to take its picture. I'll still need to properly photograph it in all its proportionate glory so I can keep the flickr set looking nice and tidy. The cowl and scarf are both made from handspun yarn: the AVFKW merino/angora/silk blend that I blogged about here and Falkland wool from Girl on the Rocks that has been marinating in the stash since... last August (?!?!). The cowl is another variation on the Dolores Park cowl, but on size 11 US needles and with only 60 stitches around. A few rounds of seed stitch at either end. The scarf is a variation of the strips used in Olive's Afghan (Ravelry link) in the book Knitalong.

I have five skeins of handspun gray fleece, waiting for life to give me a pause (and hopefully, if all goes to plan, a new, better, shinier job *knock on wood*) so I can start swatching for my handspun cabled sweater. For now, cables would just get tangled up in my head. I've needed simple projects. I've also gone back to the second glove. I'm releasing myself from the need to finish them before I start something else.

In the spinning front, I've had a few weekends at home to spend some quality time with my Ladybug. By the way, has anyone else heard of the Anniversary Edition Schacht Matchless? Lots of folks are selling their standard-edition matchless wheels around Ravelry, so it seems like a good time to pick one up if you're interested in trying to find a bargain. I think the matchless is a fabulous wheel and the all-cherry wood version sounds absolutely beautiful, but I'm sticking with my wheel. I can't really justify upgrading to a wheel that costs double what I paid after only a year! We've been having lots of fun with the extra bobbins and new high-speed whorl, too. Here, take a look:

February-March Spinning

These aren't all on the high-speed whorl, or even all on the wheel! We've got from left to right: Smoky Mountain Spinnery Baltic Merino, Creatively Dyed wool/milk protein/seawool, Pigeonroof Studios BFL in "Autumn Cherry", Hello Yarn Superwash BFL in "Starry Night" (club fiber from December), and last but not least, A Verb for Keeping Warm Shetland and Silk in "Prudence" and "Shirley Temple", plied together.

You can see the progression of my spinning desires over the last six weeks: the baltic merino was done on my spindle, so afterwards I jumped right to the wheel to get a quick project. Next came the wool/milk/seawool blend, which was done on the high speed whorl to get a feel for how it works. Next, the Pigeonroof fiber is trying to be as thin as possible, but I ended up plying the yarn to get a more consistent final yarn. Next, I wanted something bulky after the teeny-weeny singles so I spun the superwash BFL fast and loose. Finally, I settled into a more concentrated project: the shetland and silk. I had these two fibers in mind for a combined yarn after seeing them at Verb's Workshop grand opening, and being inspired by Kristine's yarn. This one is my favorite, and I had a little bit of silk singles left over that got n-plied right on the same bobbin. It was awesome. I may still be on a roll with these cowls, we'll see if I've got enough yardage for another one! I won't be ready for a more complex project for at least another few weeks yet.